March 2014

March 2014

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Banana and spice loaf

Bananas defrosting from the freezer
A short posting today as I am preparing for this evening’s Clandestine Cake Club event ‘Use your loaf’, i.e. all cakes must be baked using a loaf tin and, with no suggested flavours this time, it’s all about the shape!

Whilst trawling my old recipes a fortnight ago, I came across an old favourite which is a Banana and Spice Loaf - ideal for tonight’s theme - and, as I had about 20 bananas in the freezer ready to be used in baking (a perfect place to store over-ripe examples that are left in the fruit bowl), I didn’t have to buy too many ingredients.

The recipe is as follows, easy as chips, and a real winner for those that like warm, dark, sweet and fruity flavours together with a sumptuous chocolate ganache topping - you can’t go wrong!
Banana and spice loaf

For cake:
100g raisins
50ml brandy (if preferred use orange juice)
185g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon
125g unsalted butter (I used soft marg)
150g soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs
4 small very ripe bananas (defrosted if frozen – cut off tops and squeeze out flesh from skin)
1 tsp vanilla extract
For topping:
90 ml or 3fl oz double cream
20g unsalted butter
100 grams dark chocolate, grated
Edible gold glitter to dust (optional)

1.    In a small pan pour the brandy (or orange juice) over the raisins and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool and soak (I prepare this the night before baking).

2.   Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas 3. Sieve together flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.

3.   In a separate bowl mix the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Then stir through the mashed banana, soaked raisins and vanilla extract.

4.   Fold in the flour and place mixture into a 900g (2lb) loaf tin. Bake for 1 – 1 ¼ hrs – or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

5.  To make the topping, heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan to just boiling then take off the heat. Add the grated chocolate and leave for a couple of minutes to melt before gently stirring into the cream. Leave to cool and thicken slightly before pouring over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with edible gold glitter (if using).

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